Language research which will soon hopefully be confirmed by mitochondrial DNA analysis is tending to point to the Ukraine as the origin of Indo Europeans ie people living in Europe apart from Basques and in India and Iran . Ukrainans were apparently the first to tame the horse and cow and this gave them a tremendous advantage in warfare with other groups and they soon overran all of Europe and most of Asia.
Antimatter identifies psychopaths
Doctors have been able to identify those people who are psychopaths by
injecting them with radioactive glucose. This is taken up by activie
parts of the brain . Here it breaks down releasing positrrns-
antimatter elcetrons which when they meet normal electrons annhilate
each other emitting gamma rays which can be detected with a gamma ray
They have found that psychopaths when given emotionally charged words like smile , fear , death etc do hear them but do not then bring in the frontal cortex where meaning is inferred into action while normal people do. Pyschopaths cannot therefore empathise with their victims . It could be be a valuable technique to identify them when young , if such behavioural tendencies are spotted by parents or teachers. it also suggests that they are missing a brain chemical and it would be a great advance if the chemical for being good was identified.
Spolit elephant babies
Many male elephants brought into a South African park when the rest of the family was killed have become delinquent when grown up .They have been chasing tourists and trying to mate with female rhinos. It seems that elephants need to be discipline by elders during the formative years.
Anti Malaria Mosquitoes
Scientists have succeeded in inserting a gene into the mosquito DNA which produces an antigen protein that makes the victim that the mosquito bites produce an antibody . this antibody kills the malaria parasite. Malaria is on the rise in most South Asian countries and this technique should eliminate it since these genetic mosquitoes will pass on the gene to their descendants. This is a very important advance since other insect vectors could be genetically engineered to immunise against the illnesses they cause.
A criminal waas caught when DNA analysis from the back of the stamp he had licked showed that he had sent the ransom letter . matched DNA records now being built up. If everyone was fingerprinted at birth many criminals would be caught at the first crime and hopefully dissuaded from a lifelong criminal career.
Marry bright women
Professor Turner writes in this weeks Lancet , a medical magazine that the genes for intelligence are carried mostly on the X chromosomes so to get intelligent sons a man should marry a bright woman as only the woman can give the X chromsome to her son. Girls are not affected as they can get an X from a bright father.
Chicks of one sex
Chicken sexing It has been discovered that all the eggs hatch into male or female chicks if brought up at different temperatures 34 and 31 degrees. This prevents the egg or chiken farmer from having to discard half the hatched chicks. More info at the BBC web site - link from front page.
Bringing the dinosaurs back.
With time the left handed proteins in fossil bones tend to change to right handed ones so one can tell if the sample of DNA is old enough to be from a dinosaur. The answer so far appears to be no but insects trapped in amber could have it in their stomachs. DNA consists of four molecules adenine , guanine , cytosine and thiamine ( A G C T ) linked so that A always pairs with T ; and G with C and these pairs form the steps of the DNA ladder like molecule.
French scientists have made automated sequencers which work so fast that they could analyse all the 2 billion base pairs in human and many animal DNA in less than three years. We know that birds are related to the dinosaurs because by unblocking certain base pairs on bird DNA we can get them to grow teeth again. Computers will be able to compare the DNA of man with chicken and from the changes could predict what the dinosaur DNA would have been like. It is then a simple step for the computer to pick up A C G T from a soup of these and attach them in the right sequence. Inject this DNA into an ostrich egg and viola you have a baby T Rex ! We could even create animals which have never existed on earth !
Flavr Savr is a new American genetically engineered tomato with a block on the enzyme that cause fruit to rot. Tomatoes stay fresh for 50 days at room temp ! They can now be picked in the field , transported and then frozen so one can have fresh tomatoes and strawberries in the middle of winter. This technology if applied to other foods could vastly incese food supplies for humans
Near miss for the Earth !
Incredible news that world leaders have held back from us the news that our planet came close to colliding with an asteroid last week. Called JAQ1 and one third of a mile long it came as near as the moon and will cross earth orbit again ( when it might hit ) in the millenium year 2000 AD and every four years thereafter . An impact would release more energy than all the nuclear weapons put together , would lay waste to many countries and if it fell into the water would generate 100m waves which could kill more than a billion humans living near the sea. It would seem imperative to develop star wars and more powerful nuclear weapons to deflect this asteroid ( much bigger than the one which dug a mile wide hole in Arizona ) if it decides to make a beeline for us in the year 2000.
Bhupinder Khambay has found new chemicals called napthoquinolones in a Chilean plant which are extremely effective at repelling greenfly and mites .
By growing rape seed in a bag of weedkiller yields have been increased by a remarkable 300% .
Mites can carry BSE
Alarming news that mites can harbour mad cow disease so even killing all the infected cows will not get rid of the disease.
It has been reported that the Chinese have found colonies of tiny monkeys , no more than 7 ounce ( 200gm) . These used to be kept as pets in ancient china to help with mixing ink etc. We could soon all have our own little helper.
Yeast completely decoded
The complete 6000 gene sequence of the yeast cell has now been decoded. Previoulsy this was done only with bacteria but yeast is a higher life form and shares many common genes with us. By deleting and then restoring each gene in turn scientist can find out what each gene does giving valuable clues in medical conditions. Within ten years the whole human genome will be known and then it will be possible to design children the way we want them . Making sure they all have a gene for obedience would make life a lot easier.
Scientists have managed to breed a dwarf variety which yields far higher than any current ones and which can take up and store salt. Millions of hectares of land currently lost due to salt logging -an area the size of India could become productive. More details in New Scientist.
Helium 3 and deuterium fuse producing easliy controlled protons which produce electricity passing through a magnetic field. Such a 1000 MW reactor according to Japanese scientists who are now developing it would be ten times smaller than a coventional fusion DT-T reactor. There is little He3 on earth but enough for hundreds of years in the easily mined top six feet of soil on the moon and for millenia on Jupiter and Saturn. Space travel could provide us energy to make everyone on earth a millionaire many times over.
Life Chemicals from space
Scientists have found buckyball carbon atoms in the impact site of comets . One such comet released 1000 times as much energy as all the worlds atomic weapons would and that was a comet only a few miles across !. At this site buckyballs(60 Carbon ring molecules ) survived and helium analysis in them showed they were from space. It seems that the earths carbon came from the death of nearby red giant stars and was not present on the original earth.
Non DNA living material made
British scientists have managed to make replicating forms of proteins . This indicates that originally protein life forms would have been dominant but were ousted by DNA based ones later. On some planets protein life forms, like the prion which causes mad cow disease and is not destoyed by DNA destroying actions like UV light , boiling but is by protein destroying chemicals, may be dominant.
Big Bang photographed
Sensational news that the first visible moment of creation of time and space the Big Bang itself has been photographed by British astronomers in Cambridge !! The photograph showed hot and cold areas in the fireball.. This was when the Universe was 0.001% of its present age or just 300k years old . Its not possible to take photographs any earlier than this as light could not escape the gravity of the dense fireball. Using the combining power of radio telescopes they could look back to 15 billion years ago when the Universe came into being. It must mean that the Universe is finite since otherwise only darkness would be seen if the Universe was receding as fast as the speed of light.
The size of the Universe is mind boggling. If the solar system out to Pluto was shrink to the size of a small coin , just our Milky Way galaxy would be the size of Asia ! The furthest visible object the Andromeda galaxy at 2m light years would be further than the moon and the distant Universe would be way beyond Pluto. Light takes just over one second to get to the moon , 20 mins to Mars which is why we will never be able to have a proper converstaion with Mars colonists having said your sentence you would have to wait 20 mins to hear the other person replying !. 6 hrs to get to Pluto and 15 billion years to reach the far corner of the Universe. Scientists say the whole Universe was smaller than an atom at one stage - one wonders if they have accidently divided by zero as there are 10 galaxies or 1,000,000,000,000 stars each with 10 or so planets, for each person in the world !
Cheap diamond film.
Pravin Mistry at Penn State Uni has invented a new method of cheaply coating materials with a diamond film which could make possible everlasting razor blades , car engines etc. He uses carbon dioxide gas ( which provides the carbon for the diamond ) and lasers at atmospheric pressures and 100 C - more details on the New Scientist page at www.newscientist.com.
A Professor at the University of Nottingham has managed to manipulate the color genes in plants to produce any color except black. Red bananas , blue tomatoes are possible. Already a multicolored apple has been produced . He has also managed to inactivate the gene for rotting so that fruit stays fresh for many weeks. Over half the world's produce is thought to be spoilt by rotting . Vaccines can also be produced by manipulating plant genes.
Africa made fertile
By putting a super absorbent padding around a seed and dropping this in millions by planes beofre the rainy season , the plants manage to obtain supplies in the dry season. It is estimated that much of African deserts could be made fertile all year round by these methods.
Stonehenge 5000 years old
Using minute amounts of the stone scientists have proved by radioactive studies that Stonehenge is 5000 years old and the immense stones were brought a distance of 300 miles from Wales. It took over 300 years to build and was in use for nearly 3000 years !
Ozone levels at record lows
The recent cold spell and the use of methyl bromide ( 50x more destructive than cfc's ) in pesticides has caused the high sky ozone level to fall to record low levels . This lets in harmful ultraviolet light through from the sun which causes skin cancer , and damage to the dna of plants in the oceans and on land. Food and fishery production may collapse. It may be time to panic .
A devout Iraqi research chemist at Nottingham after reading the Quranic paragraphs describing the pomegranate fruit to be divinely blessed decided to investigate and has isolated a chemical which is hundreds of times more effective than any other so far on killing viruses on the skin surface.
Music non human ?
Archaeologists have discovered a flute made by Neanderthals made 5000 years earlier than any made by humans (homo sapiens). All humans are descended from one South African Buswoman who lived 180,000 years ago (according to mitochondiral evidence ) but these humans did not get to Yugoslavia till 45000 years ago and the flute was discovered at a Neanderthal site much older than that.
The flute is capable of playing more melodies than human made flute of much later origin showing that N's were not dumb creatures and may have been quite intelligent . Why did they die out -probably an Aids like virus ?? .
Professor Parry and Kelly of Dublin say they have experimental proof that Einstein was wrong . Light is affected by gravity and electrity travels faster in a westwards direction. Space and time they say are absolute and not relative to each other and the speed of light is not constant.
Crashing protons and antiprotons into each other scientists were surprised that the collisions were more violent than expected. It seems to indicate that quarks (three make up a proton- and they are 1000 times smaller than a proton-10000000000000000 quarks lined up would represent a tiny dot ) may take up space after all (dont ask !) and so may be composed of yet smaller particles. An Israeli scientist had theorized about them before naming them Rishons . One question how can there be more than one fundamental particle since whatever made them different must point to yet smaller particles?
Are we Martians ?
Every year 500 tons of Mars falls on the earth after meteriotes smash into Mars and send debris flying into space. Mars has water and warmth underground and many bacteria are quite happy in this condition. Professor Davies is of the opinion that life could have evolved first on Mars and then be transported to earth. Expeditions to Mars in the next ten years should confirm that life is present in caves underground , even maybe on the Moon . It would not be surprising if astronauts to the Moon exploring caves were met by rock throwing moonsters -shouting earthlings go home!
Professor Salam right.
Scientists using computers continously for two years have confirmed Prof Salam's Quark theory.Quarks (three quarks make a proton) interact with antiquarks via particles called gluons. These themselves interact with each other via other particles called glueballs and these have now been detected.
Anti periodic table
For the first time an atom of anti matter has been created in the lab. This consists of a positron circling an anti proton but it lasted for a very short time. By confining them with magnets and cold , scientists hope to make other anti elements and a new energy source when antimatter combines with matter to form pure energy . It would be hundreds of times more powrful than a hydrogen bomb.
A new Saudi Arabia
Oil from the tar sands of Alberta , Canada can now be extracted at less than $11 a barrel using a new technique of mixing the sands with hot water and caustic soda near the site. The bituemn settles out and can be refined. Recoverable reserves are 300 billion barrels ! about three times that of Saudi Arabia. many other countries have these tar sands.
Ericcson of Sweden have developed an ear plug which blocks loud noises buts lets through conversation sound.
On sale now are tomatoes that hae a gene inserted so they rot much more slowly. Other genetic inseertions into salmon that make them grow ten times as fast .
Car that flies
Moller of california have developed the skycar which because of its aerodynamic shape can stay aloft without further power when its vertical take off engines have raised it enough and when its speed has built up. It has a range of 900 miles and fuel consumption of 100 miles per gallon.
Trials have started of using the spare lines of a TV signal to carry internet newgroups . with spare sateelite channels the whole channel could be used to download at very high speeds to home computers.
Plants clear the air
Potted plants and other office plants have been show to clear up toxic pollutants including carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides - a common cause of closed air office syndromes. Plants also secrete a waxy substance from the leaves which traps bacteria and fungii and keeps the air clean . Asthmatics could benefit from this discovery.
Scientists have genetically bred a new strain of rice that is resisitant to leaf blight - a disease that causes immense damage to the rice crop.
Apple will sell in Jan 96 software that will allow users to get email and other net functions without having to quit wordprocessing or other applications.
At last a full range electric vehicle
A new electric scooter has gone on sale in Japan with a range of 500 miles and a top speed of 50mph. The motor uses a new type of magnet discovered accidently when neodyinium was added to the ingredients instead of neobium by mistake. The YT magnet can be made on any shape and will be used for cars to give it a range longer than petrol ones.
This is software which allows video conferencing to take place over the internet at local call rates .
A fence made of positive and negatively charged meshes placed under a polluting source can remove the pollutants and enable costly materials to be recovered.
Space vacuum cleaner
The planet Jupiter depresses the fabric of space around it so much that most comets fall down into it -otherwise they might go on and hit the other planets more often. Scientists claim to have discovered a brown dwarf a planet twenty bigger than Jupitet which is not big enough to ignite into a star and where the surface is so cool that there is water on it. Jupiter gives out more heat than it receives from the sun. They also claim to have discovered a black hole a billion times bigger than the sun.
The bacterium dinococcus radiourans is so resistant to nuclear radiation that even when its DNA is blasted apart with radioactivity thousands of times what humans can stand it reassembles the DNA to come alive again. It will probably repopulate the earth once we have destroyed all life with the ozone loss.
This new CDRom list the phones and addresses of nearly all the businesses in the UK.
Drive on the moon
Within three years a company is going to offer people worldwide a chance to drive a moon buggy sent to the moon , by remote control . they will be able to see 360 degrees and steer the car over the surface of the moon. It expects to make a lot of money
Live net radio
Real audio are offering sorftware which can broadcast FM quality sound over the radio, Everybody can now afford to have their own radio station.
The versatile Psion pocket computer can now be linked to mobile phones for less than £50 to enable one to receive and send email messages from anywhere.
You are being watched
Computer technology can now track cars from their number plates from surveilance cameras . The computer will alert the Police if the car is a stolen one and can even track people from their physical characteristics.
Galileo at Jupiter
The satellite Galileo approaches Jupiter the largest planet on Dec 7th and will hopefully relay thousands of high qualtiy photographs. A probe will sink into the atmosphere and transmit for an hour . It will be crushed before it hits any Jupterians.
End for VHS
The new DV Discs due out next summer for less than $500 -about £300 , will allow an Indian movie to be recorded on each side in better than laser disc qualtiy. Since each disc costs only £1 to make , and can be used thousands of time wihout loss of quality it should mean the end for poorly recorded VHS tapes . The discs the same size as audio CDs can also store subtitiles in many languages , so making it possible for second generation South Asians to understand the language of the movie. Indian firms will probably license the technology to put thousands of movies on the new format.
What is Java?
It is now possible to send these over the phone - they are like little computers which run the program sent with them so that the same program can be seen on any computer whether Macintosh or PC . It should revolutioanise software design and distribution.
Weeds Threaten Food Supply
The Canary grass is making a come back in the Punjab , taking over miles and miles of farms and posing a threat to food production. The tall wheat strain could outgrow the weed but the newer dwarf strains are unable to compete. Scientists say the fall in food production in Africa is due to the witchweed and may be overcome by applying weedkiller to specially bred resistant food crops.
Global warming has now been accepted as fact by a committee of scientists . Sea levels have risen by a foot over the last 100 years and further rises are inevitable. With over 50 degree temparatures in the summer the forests might catch fire.
Cambridge University are marketing cheap flat panel displays to make TV screens of enormours size , using light emitting polymers developed by Professor Richard Friend.
Very Cheap way to fly !
A powered paraglider costing less than $3000 is now being sold which can help fly at 50 miles an hour for three hours using less than 3 litres of fuel. The motor - a kind of fan shaped device is strapped on the back and controlled by throttles . It can power down to less than 10mph and so is safe on landing. This is a very good way to cross rivers, or fly back from work avoiding traffic jams.
US sees all
Using virtual reality techniques the US is reported to have made maps of Bosnia so detailed that only roads but even goat tracks can be clearly seen and 'flown ' over , and this was shown to Bosinian leaders. It would appear that with satellite images the US can now see the whole world in incredible detail.
Vast new energy source
Scientists estimate that more than twice the energy reserves in gas and oil is locked up in methane frozen under the ocean floor. There vast deposits off the Gujrat coast and there are plans afoot to exploit these reserves.
New Cable modems and ASDL technologies over copper wires promise to speed up information delivery to the home by about 100-300 times ---6Mbps
The USA has licensed a new type of fat with no calories after many years of clinic . Its called olestra and should prove to be a safe and effective way of keeping the weight off.
Scientists report that they have bred a strain of mice which lack an enzyme to make nitric oxide in the brain.These mice are very aggressive and will rape and murder other mice. A Dutch family with a history of criminals over many generations is reported to have the same genetic defect
Cambridge Scientists looking at the Y chromosome report that all humans seem to be descended from a tribe of 10,000 bushmen living in South Africa 100,000 years ago
From this week computer owners with a modem will be able to dial free anywhere in the world if they have cable or at local rates if not , even if the person at the other end does not have a computer. The call is routed through ordinary lines through internet providers. The software costs about £50
A British company Bookham technologies has made an optical switch using silicon . This should make fibre optic connections cheaper than copper ones to the home allowing video to be downloaded to the home from the internet
For the first time the gene of a human being has been patented by the US govt.
Scientists in UK report that they have made vaccines for all the common allergies and in tests they have cured 13 out of 13 people tested with a single injection.top